The Holy See
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Clementine Hall
Saturday, 1st December 2007


Most Holy Father,

Gathered here this morning are those taking part in the Forum of Catholic-inspired Non-governmental Organizations. I have the pleasant task of expressing their common devoted sentiments and it is therefore with true joy that, in the name of all present, I warmly greet Your Holiness and thank you most sincerely for having so kindly received us in your home. Present here this morning are the Superiors and officials of the Secretariat of State and of other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, Papal Representatives to the various International Organizations and expert members of about ninety Non-governmental Organizations which are guided in their activity by the Social Doctrine of the Church.

In these days, we are motivated by the desire to dialogue and reflect together on how we might enhance the cooperation of Non-governmental Organizations of Catholic inspiration with one another and with the Holy See, in the light of what Your Holiness had to say to the Papal Representatives to the International Intergovernmental Organizations, when they met on 17 and 18 March last year. On that occasion, Your Holiness urged that the strengths of those who cooperate in the Church’s mission in the world be shared, so as to ensure a fundamental contribution to the building of an international society more attentive to the dignity and true needs of the human person.

This Forum has espoused that teaching, since it offers clear directions for sharing in an authoritative way in the prophetic responsibility of the Church, which intends to continue speaking out in defence of humanity, even when the policy of States or majority public opinion move in the opposite direction. Gathered once again today around the Successor of Peter, all of us, who come from different parts of the world, wish to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to be “apostles” everywhere of ecclesial communion and genuine solidarity, in obedience to the directives of your magisterium.

Last year during the meeting with the Papal Representatives to the International Intergovernmental Organizations, Your Holiness recalled that “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (1 Cor 1:27). In this awareness, and confident that we can always count on the paternal attention which you devote to the activities of the Non-Governmental Organizations of Catholic inspiration, we look forward to hearing your words.

Finally, Your Holiness, we renew our sentiments of affection and faithful devotion. Assuring you of our prayers for your person and your intentions, we ask your blessing on all here present, on all the members of our Organizations and on our daily service to the Church.